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Archive for Wednesday, June 28, 1995

TS HELP KEEP FOURTH SAFE

June 28, 1995

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Fireworks can be legally lit in Lawrence between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. July 2 and 3 and between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. July 4. The Lawrence Fire Marshal has some safety reminders about Fourth of July fireworks festivities.

Attention, patriotic pyromaniacs: Bottle rockets bought in Missouri are contraband in Kansas.

That goes double for Lawrence. Both city and state law forbid anyone from selling, buying or shooting the unpredictable projectiles, said Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr.

In years past, bottle rockets have caused roof fires at apartment complexes and houses in Lawrence, he said.

Illegal fireworks also include M-80s, M-100s, cherry bombs and silver salutes, Barr said.

Legal fireworks, called either class B or "Explosives 1.3," include aerial helicopters, Roman candles and sparklers.

But even legal fireworks can be dangerous if they're aimed toward dry grass or a shake shingle roof.

Here are some more fireworks safety reminders, courtesy of Barr:

  • Before shooting off any fireworks, read the manufacturer's directions carefully.
  • Adults should be in charge of fireworks. If older children are shooting off fireworks, they should be carefully supervised.
  • Keep a bucket of water, garden hose or some other extinguisher handy.
  • Be especially cautious in neighborhoods with dry vegetation, dry grass or shake roofs -- particularly with aerial fireworks.
  • If a firework doesn't go off, wait a few minutes before approaching it. Do not try to relight it. Take the dud, immerse it in a bucket of water and dispose of it. Don't toss it aside and let it dry out, as the rearranged explosive powder may pose a new danger.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Light fireworks on flat surface, away from people.
  • Don't experiment with homemade fireworks or try to modify them on your own.
  • Never light fireworks inside a container.
  • Do not use fireworks that have leaking powder or appear to be old. Fireworks that do not have a manufacturer's label may be illegal.
  • Don't stock up on fireworks and put the leftovers in storage for another time. Shooting them off on New Year's Eve is illegal.
  • And of course, "Don't ever look down the barrel of a Roman candle to see why it didn't go off," Barr said.

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